Social media as we know it today is approaching its 20th birthday (yikes, that hurts to type). In the past two decades, much has changed. Social media has transformed from a network to stay connected with family and friends to a sales and marketing must in the 21st century.
Despite the wide scale popularity, there are many companies that are just getting started with social media as a tool to help their business grow. Platforms make setting up a profile and getting started relatively easy, but what happens when you are ready to start posting content?
Whether you are a social media newbie or have been sharing content since Tom was in your “Top 8,” sometimes you have to get back to the basics. In many ways, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to creating engaging content. Here are four useful tips that anyone can immediately start using in their overall social media strategy.
We are all self-conscious, that is a simple fact of life. Social media has taken keeping up with the Jones’ to the extreme. The biggest piece of advice that I can give you is to stop overthinking every social media decision you make.
Is this picture-perfect? Does it adequately represent my brand? Is this the perfect message? All of these, and more, simply get in your way. Consistent posting is far more important than crafting the perfect message once a week. And to be fair, we are all human, perfection is unattainable at best.
Speaking of perfection, when was the last time that you spoke in perfect English? Social media is the spot where you can let YOUR flag fly. Slang, emojis, and imperfect grammar are all 100% acceptable. Be yourself and have some fun with social media.
When you choose to be yourself on social, it resonates more with your audience. No one wants to interact with a robot that comes across as cold...sorry Zuckerberg. If your personality is to to put a smiley face on handwritten notes, throw that emoji on your posts. Your audience will appreciate the authenticity and will be more likely to engage with the content.
Real estate in social media? You bet your asterisk. Look at any social post in your feed, and regardless of the platform only the first couple of lines of text are visible. This is PRIME real estate. Again, the message doesn’t have to be perfect but it should be what grabs your audience’s attention.
Better yet doesn’t always have to be a bold statement to create an impact. Questions are a great way to get someone to stick around and read the remainder of your post. The idea is to get that person to stop swiping long enough to get your point across. The longer they linger, the better chance they engage.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when starting out on social media is trying to fit too much information into a relatively small space. Most platforms have a character limit but that doesn’t stop people from cramming it with every service or product they offer. The goal is to entice, not pitch the product. Think breadcrumbs instead of the lobster dinner.
Sentences shouldn’t go beyond 2 lines. Remember your audience is likely reading your post from a smartphone. Mix in white space to make the post easier to read. Slap a call-to-action on that bad boy and send it on its way. Simple, straightforward, and effective is the name of the game.
No matter your experience level, keep in mind that social media is constantly evolving. Algorithms change, audiences shift, and platforms fall in and out of favor. Because change is a constant variable, don’t be afraid to try new things. Throw caution to the wind and see if that fresh idea works. If it doesn’t use it as a learning experience and approach from a different angle. At the end of the day, you will be surprised at what you are capable of doing on social media.
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